After the lunch offered by the UN Secretary General, at the end of the Millennium Summit opening session, we were asked to move to an adjacent room for the official photo. We walked toward that room one following the other through a narrow space between tables. Then, I perceived President Clinton standing hardly four meters ahead greeting various Heads of States passing by him. He was shaking everyone’s hand out of courtesy. I could not run away to avoid him, neither could he. In both cases it would have been a shameful cowardice. Thus, I followed the others. In about two more minutes I was in front of him and, just like everyone else, I stopped for a few seconds and with due courtesy and dignity I greeted him and he did exactly the same thing; then, I proceeded forward. Anything else would have been rude and extravagant. Everything lasted less than 20 seconds.

That simple event was soon known and various media reported it kindly. There were soon rumors, and official press spokesmen lacking the right information began giving different versions.

The Miami Mafia grew hysteric. To them, the President had committed a great crime. They can be such bigots!

As for myself, I am pleased with my respectful and civilized behavior toward the President of the country which hosted the Summit.

President Fidel Castro